Northern Devon Foodbank and CHAT (Churches Housing Action Team) Foodbank in Tiverton have been given £1,000 each by a leading housebuilder to help carry out their work as communities continue to feel the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, who are developing Braid Park in Tiverton and Tarka Ridge and Raleigh Holt outside Barnstaple, have stepped in to help their local food banks, which have experienced a surge in demand for food parcels, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The donations are part of a £9,000 initiative by Barratt and David Wilson Homes to support food banks near the communities they are building across the South West. Barratt Developments chief executive David Thomas visited the region to meet local foodbank volunteers at South Bristol development, Filwood Park.
Duncan Withall, Chairman of Northern Devon Foodbank said:
"The coronavirus outbreak has hit some of the poorest people in our communities hardest and, like other local food banks, we've seen a huge surge in demand for food parcels over the past few months. Our volunteer teams are working tirelessly to ensure that we have the necessary stocks to respond to this crisis.
"We have been so blessed by the support of businesses in Northern Devon, who at this time have their own economic uncertainties to cope with. This generous donation from Barratt Homes will help us maintain a secure footing to ensure we can continue to support local people in need."
Mark Bailey, development officer for CHAT (Churches Housing Action Team) added:
"We would like to thank Barratt and David Wilson Homes for their most generous donation of £1,000 especially at this most difficult of times, enabling further support to those most vulnerable in our society. Our services are in greater demand than ever and our income sources have also suffered so this help is especially appreciated. For many, CHAT is their only source of help. All funds raised at this time will be used to help the vulnerable of Mid Devon."
Through their Local Community Fund, the housebuilders, part of Barratt Developments plc, donate £3,000 every month to local community causes and initiatives across the South West. Responding to the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, they decided to focus donations from this fund for the past three months to support some of those hit hardest by the outbreak.
As the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis continues, food banks are seeing a huge increase in demand, with the Trussell Trust reporting an 81% increase in demand for emergency food parcels compared to the same period last year, including a 122% rise in parcels going to children. This is coupled with radically changing their systems of food collection and distribution in order to operate safely.
Nicki Reid, sales director at Barratt & David Wilson Homes Exeter said:
"As well as building much-needed high quality new homes, we believe passionately in building and supporting local communities. So we're pleased to be able to make a contribution that directly supports people living near our Braid Park, Tarka Ridge and Raleigh Holt developments when they need it most.
"The coronavirus outbreak has had such a devastating impact on so many people, in terms of their health or their finances, and sadly all too often on both. We are hugely grateful to the staff and volunteers at North Devon and CHAT Food Banks for their incredibly valuable work and hope our contribution enables them both to continue and to spread that support widely."
As the country's largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments has been supporting the UK's efforts to get the economy on the road to recovery, following the country's lockdown, whilst safeguarding staff and customers. Barratt and David Wilson Homes have recently re-opened sales centres and show homes on an appointment only basis and with a range of safety measures and new working procedures in place which meet or exceed government, industry and public health agency advice. These include protective perspex screens, retractable barriers, strict social distancing and, where necessary, personal protective equipment (PPE), plus smart video- doorbell intercom systems.
The 5 star housebuilder has also re-opened many of its construction sites, introducing stringent new working practices and protocols including social distancing, temperature checks and changes to signage, site welfare facilities and compounds, in line with the latest guidance from Government, Public Health Authorities and the Construction Leadership Council.
Anyone interested in buying or viewing a new Barratt or David Wilson Home should contact their local sales office for more detail on specific developments and visit the Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes websites to book an appointment. For more information visit www.barratthomes.co.uk orwww.dwh.co.uk